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Taking care of a new baby can be a lot of work. You are responsible for a whole human (howbeit a tiny one) and there’s a lot you need to do. You need to change them, bath them, keep them warm, feed them, soothe them, sing to them and sometime stay up all night with them. Though all these are quite demanding, it can also be a fun process and a time to bond with your new baby. You also have a lot to learn about your baby and taking it one step at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed is a good start. Today, I’m going to cover the topic of your babies feet. How do you care for them? In the first several months, even the first year, your baby will not need to wear any shoes so before you run along to buy the cute baby shoes and Baby Loafers we all love, make sure you are buying them in bigger sizes (9-months and above) when your baby can actually use them. Below are tips on how to care for your baby’s feet
- The key idea is to keep them clean and infection free, while also letting them grow, develop and strengthen as naturally as possible. Here are some tips to care of your baby’s feet.
- This might come as an obvious point but ensure to wash your baby’s feet thoroughly every day and pat them dry. Always pat dry gently and with a clean dry and soft cloth or towel.
- Sprinkle some talcum powder to ensure that the feet stay dry. This is a huge tradition in some countries. Covering the baby in talcum powder helps keep them dry and fresh feeling. Seeing a baby looking all white like a ghost bathed in talcum powder is a welcome site.
- Cut the toenails straight and not in a curved shape, to ensure that the toes do not grow inward. Nobody like ingrown nails and especially babies. Their body is growing and developing fast sometimes with visible changes overnight. So make sure you cut their toenails properly so they don’t grow inward or sideways into the skin. ouch!
- Make sure there is enough space for your baby to move her feet around in the crib or bed. Don’t leave them tight in there. Take out the teddy bears, extra pillows, and blankets for now and let them have a clean airy space to sleep in and grow.
- Ensure you do not cover your child with a lot of blankets in the night as this will also restrict the movement of her legs. Find ways to keep them warm then doesn’t make them feel boxed in.
- Ensure the baby gets a lot of feet exercise! How? You can tickle her feet a little, which will make her flex and stretch the feet. Even kicking in the air is a great exercise for the entire leg, including feet. You can do this a lot when changing them or dressing them up. Another way to accomplish this is to ensure lot of play time
- Pick socks over shoes. I already mentioned this in the introduction but it’s worth mentioning again. Socks help keep your baby’s feet warm while at the same time not restricting its movements and growth. Ensure you let your baby’s feet develop without any restrictions.
Your baby cannot yet tell you if there is a pain or soreness in her feet. So regularly watch out for the following and be proactive about it:
- Ingrown toenails: If you notice the skin around your baby’s toenails red and swollen, it might indicate ingrown toenails. It can be avoided by being careful when you cut her nails. But if your child already has it, talk to your pediatrician doctor about it.
- Blisters: Blisters are usually caused by tight shoes (again, wait a while before you start wearing them shoes). If you notice blisters, do not burst them as it can lead to infections. Avoid shoes and socks until the blisters dry off.
- Hand, mouth, foot disease: This is a viral disease characterized by small spots (which later turn to blisters) appearing around the baby’s hands, mouth and feet. It goes away by itself in a week but we watchful of it.
- Verrucas: These are also rare in babies unless you take your child to swimming pool often. They are small warts with a black center that appear in the sole of baby’s feet. It is painful but will go away by itself in a couple of years. It can also be removed by surgery. Make sure you go to clean public pools and don’t stay in too long with the baby.
- Talipes: Talipes or clubfoot is a condition where the baby’s feet are bent downward and inward. Babies with talipes require physiotherapy to correct the shape of the feet
- In- or out-toeing: This happens when your baby becomes a toddler and start walking with his/her feet turn inward or outward. They will eventually grow out of it with practice but try to monitor them closely and encourage activities to make them flex the feet outward more but be gentle.
When Can I Buy My Baby’s First Shoes?
So I’ve stated repeatedly that you should wait before you go out to buy your baby shoes and baby loafers. Although you might be tempted seeing those pretty and small shoes, encasing your baby’s feet in them might restrict the shape, size, and growth of the feet. Technically, your baby does not require shoes until the baby starts walking outdoors. Even before that happens, she should get a lot of barefoot walking time inside the house. This will help strengthen her feet muscles. And finally, when it is time to buy the first shoes, make sure they comfortable and of the right fit.